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Deja vu

Andrew Thagard | Thursday, September 4, 2003

Just when you didn’t think it could get any worse, it did.

I’m referring, of course, to the lottery for Michigan football tickets that took place Wednesday at Recker’s.

Some of you may remember I tried in vain to acquire tickets to the Florida State game through the University last year. For those who don’t, I rounded up friends’ ID cards and collected as many lottery tickets as possible for the chance to see the Irish play in Tallahassee, Fla.

Unfortunately, I was among the several thousand Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students who entered the lottery for the 150 tickets and didn’t win. I also pulled an all-nighter in the basement of LaFortune in a vain attempt to get my hands on two of the half dozen unclaimed tickets several days later.

I made it inside Florida State’s Doak Campbell Stadium to see the Irish defeat the ‘Noles last year, but I got in on a Florida State student ticket.

I was annoyed last year by the small number of tickets available to students. Notre Dame receives several thousand tickets to football away games. The fact that they offer a measly 150 to students, the heart and soul of the Irish’s fan base, just didn’t seem right.

This year, I’m still upset at the number of tickets that the University provides for students. What makes me even madder, however, is the system used for distributing this grossly inadequate amount.

I waited for over an hour in a line that stretched outside of Recker’s and wrapped around to Dillon Hall to move 15 feet. Shortly before 5 p.m., a representative came by to announce that Indiana State gambling laws mandated that the lottery end exactly three hours after it started. My friend and I checked out our position in line and realized we didn’t have a prayer.

Our fellow line mates told us that the Student Union Board-sponsored lottery was staffed by three people and was capable of processing one request at a time. As a newspaper reporter, I’d like to have verified this but the mob scene inside the Hospitality Room precluded me from getting close. I’ll have to take their word for it.

To have only three people staffing a line made up of hundreds of students, desperate to see one of the most hyped games of the season, is ridiculous. I can accept students’ access to tickets being limited; I realize alumni and friends of the University are entitled to see a Notre Dame football game too.

But please, don’t waste our time with an inefficient lottery distribution system. If the University can’t guarantee those interested a ticket, they should at least give them a chance in the lottery.